Liberty Square Riverboat (Magic Kingdom)

(Guests board riverboat in Liberty Square.)

SAM CLEMENS
Last call! Secure all cargo! All passengers aboard!

BOWMAN
Cargo secure. All passengers boarded, sir!

SAM CLEMENS
All hands, stand by. Engine Room: reverse one quarter. Bowman: cast off bow line.

BOWMAN
Aye-aye, sir! Bow line away!

SAM CLEMENS
Engine Room: ahead one quarter. Sound last bell. Leadsman, sound off. Give me a depth reading, by the mark.

LEADSMAN
By the mark: Half twain. Mark one. Mark twain. Mark three. Mark four. Deep four. Ocean deep.

(Riverboat begins moving.)

SAM CLEMENS
Mark four. Engine Room: ahead three quarters. Stand by. Steady as she goes. Captain.

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
Welcome aboard the Liberty Belle! I’m your captain, Horace Bixby, and my pilot with me here on the Texas Deck, is a young cub that goes by the name of Sam Clemens. Hey, he’s marking his 100th voyage down the river today, with nary a calamity on his watch… uh, so far. Sam knows this river like his own backyard. Sam, tell our guests everything you know about this river.

SAM CLEMENS
Well, now… I always figure it is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. But I will tell you this: I love this river more than anything else. I’ve loved this river, even from the time I was a toddler back in Missouri.

Before we get too much further out of port, I think I should mention that you best not be sittin’ on those handrails. They’re the only thing between you and the river, and the river don’t always take kindly to uninvited guests. We’ve also had reports of river pirates operating in the vicinity — so I wouldn’t lean out beyond those rails for that reason, either.

Now, for those of you on the port side, that river town we’re passin’ is Frontierland. A few years back, it was no more than a boomtown, carved out of the wilderness by a handful of settlers lookin’ to start a new life. Today, gentility and decorum are runnin’ rampant. Oh, it still has its share of footloose trappers, keelboaters, prospectors, and an Indian or two — but mostly it’s flush times and well on its way to becomin’ a fine big city.

Frontierland reminds me some of my own hometown, Hannibal. It takes me back to when I was a barefoot boy, growin’ up alongside the riverbanks. Ya know, it seems to me that when I was younger, I could remember everything — whether it happened or not! But, as I grow older, I — I seem to remember only the things that never happened at all.

(Riverboat moves past Splash Mountain.)

See that peak just beyond the outskirts of Frontierland? That’s Chickapin Hill — or at least it used to be. Dam burst a few years back, and folks been callin’ it “Splash Mountain” ever since. Some have even taken to ridin’ hollowed-out logs over the big falls. Seems farfetched, I know, but it’s the truth!

All my life, it seems I never could tell a lie that anybody would doubt, nor a truth that anybody would believe — but believe me when I tell ya, truth is the most valuable thing we have, so I make sure I only use it with economy.

(Riverboat moves past Tom Sawyer Island rafts.)

That island over across the way, on the starboard side, was my stompin’ grounds when I was young. Exceedingly young. Marvelously young — young by hundreds of years! Younger than I will ever be again. It’s called Tom Sawyer’s Island and is named for a friend from my boyhood. Even today, the only way you can get there is by raft. Ol’ man Harper’s grain mill is there — back in the woods just off Tom’s Landing. And that’s Muff Potter’s pond and his windmill. We almost hanged Muff once… And there’s Huck’s Landing! I always did like Huck. He could swear just wonderfully! He and Tom and I spent most of our wild and reckless youth exploring that island. Lots of caves. Lots of adventure, if you know where to look. And we all knew where to look. That’s Superstition Bridge — it connects the big island to the little one. And if you follow the wilderness trail there, it’ll lead you right up to the gates of Fort Langhorn. It’s the last tradin’ outpost before we head into Indian country.

(Riverboat passes Big Thunder Mountain.)

Look off to the port side, there. Every now and then, the water under that crest of rock comes to a natural boil and spurts out all over the place like a teakettle left on the fire too long. Indians ’round here used to tell me these geysers were actually unfriendly spirits, upset by uninvited trespassers traipsin’ all over their sacred huntin’ grounds. Be that as it may, that’s Big Thunder Mountain pokin’ up in the sky over there. The Indians named it that because of the sound the falls used to make when the big rains came. Then the miners and prospectors and get-rich-quick speculators showed up — and the name stuck because of the sound of blastin’ powder goin’ off every few minutes. There’s not so much blastin’ these days — just ghost stories about a runaway mine train loaded down with simple-hearted, terror-filled folks like you.

(Riverboat passes Beacon Joe’s hut.)

Well, I’ll be! Look who’s drifted out of the bayou. Off to port, Captain — it’s Beacon Joe.

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
Old Beacon’s been marking this river for longer than I can remember. Every time the river cuts a new channel, old Beacon puts out a marker to let us know whether it’s safe to travel or not. However, Sam here’s been braggin’ that if push came to shove, he could navigate the Liberty Belle on a heavy dew. (Chuckle.) Isn’t that so, Sam?

SAM CLEMENS
Well, I was born humble, Captain… but mostly, it’s worn off.

(Riverboat approaches Indian village.)

SAM CLEMENS
Captain, Indian village to port.

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
Now that’s something you don’t see much out this way: that’s an Algonquin Indian village — um, looks to be from the Powhatan tribe. Usually they stay further east. I’ve seen Seminole and Miami this far west, and of course Shoshone, Blackfeet, and Crow — but I’ve never seen Algonquins out here.

SAM CLEMENS
Lots of game out this way. I’ve seen moose and deer and plenty of other critters along the shoreline.

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
That could be why the Powhatans are out this far. Y’know, just following the food trail.

(Riverboat approaches second Indian village.)

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
Now that other village off to port has been there a while. Most of the Indians along the river don’t quite know what to make of our steamboat. They call it “penalore,” which means “fire canoe” — uh, ’cause of the smoke and sparks pouring out of our top stack. The first time we passed this way, they thought it was the return of one of their heavenly messengers. They said our riverboat was a “comet of the sun.”

Just beyond the village, up that hill, is their sacred burial ground. Now, those who fall in battle are placed atop the traditional bed of death. After nightfall, they’ll return to mourn the great warriors who brought honor to the tribe.

SAM CLEMENS
Attention, Deck Watch: shoals to port and starboard. Engine Room: steady on.

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
We’re entering shallow water, but, uh, there’s no cause for worry. Sam knows every shoal and shallow, every snag and sandbar in this part of the river — and he’ll navigate us through to safe water. You wouldn’t steer us wrong, would you Sam?

SAM CLEMENS
I believe we ought never to do wrong, Captain — especially when others are looking. Leadsman, sing out!

LEADSMAN
By the mark: mark one, quarter-less three, half twain, half twain, half mark twain, quarter-less, red flag, red flag touchin’!

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
Those of you that have been this way before know that the water can get fairly shallow along this stretch of the river. The leadsmen call out the depth. Each mark is a fathom (or six feet). “Mark twain” is two fathoms. And for us, that means safe water.

(Riverboat passes Wilson’s Cave Inn. Sounds of cavorting echo from inside the cave.)

SAM CLEMENS
Captain, we’re passing Cutthroat Corner. Attention, deck crew: stay alert! If there’s river pirates out there, this is where they’ll most likely be. Yep, I can hear them from here. But from all the commotion, it sounds like their interests lie elsewhere.

(Riverboat passes Fort Langhorn. A bugle fanfare sounds from the shore.)

SAM CLEMENS
If you folks on deck look past the trees on the island, that’s Fort Langhorn. Most of these old forts started out as tradin’ posts. Then, as settlers started headin’ west, the army came in and took ’em over. My feelin’ is, these days, there’s a lot less frontier and a lot more civilization than is truly necessary.

Leadsman, give me a depth reading. Sing out!

LEADSMAN
By the mark: half twain, mark one, mark twain, no bottom, safe water. Mark twain, safe passage.

(Riverboat passes Haunted Mansion.)

SAM CLEMENS
You see that brick mansion back over yonder there in the woods? I’ve heard folks hereabouts say it was haunted. They say it was built on sacred Indian burial grounds, so now it’s filled with spirits. If you ask me, I’d say the ones tellin’ those tales are the ones filled with spirits. If you want proof, just ask ’em — they got it. About a hundred proof, I reckon. And whatever you do, don’t strike any matches if they aim to breathe in your direction — or you won’t just be seein’ ghosts; you’ll be joinin’ ’em.

(Riverboat approaches Liberty Square dock.)

We’re approaching Liberty Square, which is home port for us. We’ll be puttin’ into dock shortly, so those of you on the upper two decks might be of a mind to collect all your parcels and head to the lower deck. If you got youngins you’ll wanna take them in hand before they get out of hand. On behalf of the captain, myself, and the crew, thanks for plyin’ the waterways with us, and I hope I see you next time round the riverbend.

CAPTAIN HORACE BIXBY
Thanks, Sam, and, uh, thank you, everyone for traveling the Rivers of America with us today.

SAM CLEMENS
Engine Room: approach levy at one-quarter steam. Man the bowline. Purser: check freight and cargo. All hands, prepare to dock. All passengers, stand by to go ashore.

(Riverboat docks. Passengers disembark.)

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